EXCLUSIVE: President Trump’s campaign operation is planning an advertising blitz for the final two-week stretch before the midterms, as part of a multimillion-dollar bid to help Republicans keep control of Congress, Fox News has learned.
The commitment, according to the campaign, includes a $6 million TV and digital ad buy set to launch next Monday and last through Election Day. The campaign also is sending $3 million to the Republican National Committee to boost GOP campaigns, while Trump plans to host at least 10 more “Make America Great Again” rallies in support of Republicans before the election.
All told, the president’s campaign reports, the nearly $10 million commitment is part of more than $20 million the operation is spending on the midterm elections, including rally costs.
“President Trump is all-in for the midterms to lead the GOP to victory on Election Day,” Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale said in a statement Tuesday. “His winning spirit is energizing Americans across the country to get out the vote and keep the momentum of our America First agenda going strong.”
Trump’s 2020 campaign already has amassed a massive war chest, raising roughly $100 million to date. He enters his re-election battle with a sizable fundraising advantage against any Democratic candidate, but will draw down some of that this fall in the fight to keep Congress in Republican hands.
‘President Trump is all-in for the midterms.’
The MAGA rallies being held on a regular basis serve a dual purpose — boosting GOP candidates in the midterms while allowing Trump to connect with his base and keep them energized ahead of the looming 2020 fight. Since the summer, Trump has held 20 such rallies so far. Over the last several months, Trump and Vice President Pence also have attended dozens of candidate and GOP committee fundraisers, according to the campaign.
At the two-week mark, Republicans are seen as holding the edge in the race for control of the Senate, while Democrats remain favored in the race for the House — but their advantage is narrowing in recent polling. According to the latest NBC-Wall Street Journal Poll, in competitive districts, Democrats and Republicans are in a dead heat on the question of which party should control Congress. A Washington Post survey out Tuesday reported that Democrats hold a “statistically insignificant lead” in battleground districts.
The ultimate impact of Trump’s policies and presence on the campaign trail remains to be seen, but he has shown no hesitation about latching his name and his brand to Republican candidates across the country — most recently, former primary rival Ted Cruz, during a Texas rally Monday night. While many Democrats are trying to damage GOP incumbents by linking them to Trump, some of those same incumbents are openly embracing the Trump agenda and the president’s visible campaign role.
“He’s campaigning at a higher level than any president previously,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom” on Monday.
Aside from rallies, the next big commitment will come in the form of the ad buy set to launch Oct. 29.
“With so much at stake in the midterms, we’re leaving everything on the field to build our incredible progress for the American people,” Lara Trump, a campaign senior adviser and daughter-in-law to the president, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the RNC last week announced a record $269.9 million raised in a non-presidential election year, with $56.8 million raised in the third quarter. The RNC told Fox News that 40 percent of the total were small-dollar donations. The Democratic National Committee has raised $136 million so far this cycle, including $9.6 million in September, compared with the RNC’s $26.2 million.
The RNC piggy bank will grow a bit bigger with the Trump campaign vowing to transfer $3 million. The new transfer is in addition to direct contributions of $214,000 made by the campaign in August to 107 House and Senate campaigns.
Despite the RNC’s fundraising edge over its counterpart, Democratic candidates have benefited from a windfall of individuals donations, fueled in part by the fundraising tool “ActBlue,” which has sent more than $1 billion in donations to Democrats this cycle.
Both parties are taking an equally urgent tone in appealing to voters not to sit out the election.
“This is the most important election of our lifetime,” DNC Chairman Tom Perez tweeted.